Published: September 13, 2002
10th Annual Plane Pull Event Highlighted Festival



Washington Dulles International Airport opened its doors and welcomed the community on September 21st to the special Dulles Day Family Festival. The festival took place on the Cargo Ramp at Dulles and featured the 10th annual "tug of war" between human and machine -- the annual Plane Pull. The entire event, which drew more than 25,000 people raised $110,000 for Virginia Special Olympics, making this the most successful Dulles Day event in history.

Dulles Day is organized by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department to raise money for Special Olympics Virginia. Admission and parking for this event are free. The festival included aircraft on display, a car show, live musical entertainment, food and beverages, games and activities for children, and a raffle to win free tickets on various airlines.

The centerpiece of the day however was the Plane Pull, where teams of twenty people pulled a 145,000-pound Boeing 727 aircraft made available by Federal Express. More than 60 teams, which each donate $1,000 to Special Olympics, competed to pull the plane 12-feet by rope in a timed competition. Over the last 10 years, the Airports Authority estimates that well over $600,000 has been raised for Special Olympics Virginia at this event.

This year, the team from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum took the crown as they pulled in a time of 7.43 seconds. Cisco Systems and Arlington County Police finished second and third respectively. Full results and raffle winners are listed on www.planepull.com.

The Honorary Chairman for this, the 10th anniversary of the event, was Michael Kohn, native of Chantilly, Virginia and member of the bronze medal-winning men's four-man bobsled team at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Kohn helped the US capture its first Olympic men's bobsled medal since 1956 and is also member of the Virginia Army National Guard.

The original Plane Pull - the first of its kind in the nation, was created at Dulles Airport in 1992 to raise money for Special Olympics Virginia. Similar events are now held across the country at other airports.

Special thanks to all those involved in making this event so successful. See you next year!

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